Ida to Hit on the 16th Anniversary of Katrina with a Bigger Punch
South Louisiana is bracing for the second major hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Ida is currently predicted to make landfall somewhere along the Louisiana coastline Sunday, August 29, the 16th anniversary of deadly Hurricane Katrina. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is forecasting Ida to be a Category 4 by the time she makes landfall, but not ruling out at Category 5.
American and European hurricane models are tracking Hurricane Ida's eye to pass over Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, or New Orleans, however, the NHC has also issued a hurricane warning for Mississippi, parts of Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
As of 6:25 PM CST, satellite images and radar data from NOAA show Hurricane Ida has made landfall in the Cuban province of Pinar Del Rio about 20 miles east of La Coloma. Maximum sustained winds were 80 mph.
Hurricane Ida is currently moving Northwest at only 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph. Ida is located at 22.3N 83.3W.
Hurricane Ida is headed out into the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf water is at record high temperatures, not just on the surface, but deep which will only give Ida the fuel she needs to intensify into a major hurricane. Ida will be strong, slow-moving, and massive, covering a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico and dropping an enormous amount of rain on the Louisiana/Mississippi gulf coast.
When Hurricane Ida makes landfall, experts believe winds could be 140 mph but warn winds could be a bit stronger making Hurricane Ida a Category 5 storm. The hurricane could wobble and lower in intensity, however, coastal residents are being urged to take this hurricane seriously. Even if the eye of Hurricane Ida wabbles a hair, this storm will still be a monster with deadly winds and a storm surge that could be as high as 15 feet along the Louisiana gulf coast.
Conditions will start to deteriorate for coastal Louisiana residents Sunday afternoon and hurricane conditions will last into early Monday morning. Hurricane Ida is forecasted to move through the state with much intensity. Alexandria, located in central Louisiana, could experience wind gusts of 100 mph.
As of Friday evening, 52,000 residents have been ordered to evacuate in St. Charles Parish by 5 PM Saturday. Evacuation orders were also issued for parts of Terrebonne and Plaquemines parishes. Officials in Jefferson and Lafourche parishes and Grand Isle also have ordered residents out.
State officials say it's too late for I-10 contraflow in the event Ida heads toward New Orleans. Governor John Bel Edwards is urging residents of the state to not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Everyone should have a safety plan in place no later than Saturday evening.
State officials are struggling to prepare the state of Louisiana for a major hurricane as COVID-19 cases are at record numbers. Hospitals in the state are overflowing with COVID patients on the heels of a Category 4, maybe a Category 5, hurricane.
Stores in coastal Louisiana are running out of water and essentials and many gas pumps have signs that say, "Sorry Out of Service" as they've run out of gasoline.
Hurricane Ida is predicted to be a massive hurricane. Prepare your home, family and pets for her wrath.